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IDOE publishes the initial report of the AI pilot program

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Indianapolis, Indiana – An AI pilot program that has so far impacted 45,000 pupils in Indiana schools has released preliminary findings.

A competitive grant program in September gave 112 Indiana schools a total of $2 million to implement AI in the classroom. An early assessment of the program was made public this week by the Indiana Department of Education, which stated it showed promise.

”Our teacher response to it was very positive,” said Mike McDivitt with MSD of Wabash County.

According to McDivitt, his school took part in the state’s AI pilot program to provide more children with on-the-spot arithmetic teaching.

”It really kept our students from having to wait to get the teacher’s attention while the teacher was working with someone else,” said McDivitt.

More than half of the 625 teachers who took part in the IDOE poll believed AI was a net plus, particularly in terms of time savings, involving students in the learning process, and providing more individualized tutoring.

”These opportunities have given schools a chance to do things we typically have not been able to, for sure,” said McDivitt.

The IDOE has approved five AI platforms and technologies that schools can select from.

”They had to be safe for children to use, they have to protect child data, [and] they also have to have a data-reporting feature,” said Diana Smith, IDOE director of digital learning, during this week’s State Board of Education meeting.

However, there were several issues with the program. According to a study of teachers, understanding how to utilize AI technologies generally and issues with microphones and speech recognition are some of the main hurdles.

”These challenges are related to the platforms themselves rather than the pilot implementation, so we do plan to share this feedback directly with the vendors,” said Heather Herring, an IDOE Course Access Specialist.

The remaining 47% of teachers questioned, according to the IDOE, were primarily indifferent. Later this summer, the IDOE will make available a comprehensive report on the program.

 

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